British Business Boneheadedness
In PR as well as direct marketing, it is imperative to give enough information so that the person can act—NOW. When sending a book for review, it is essential to send the following:
(1) A copy of the book—either the finished product or a bound galley.
(2) A personal cover letter to the reviewer selling the book and telling why a review (or broadcast appearance) would benefit the reviewer and his audience. This is the “you” copy—the benefits to you of covering the book.
(3) A press release that enthusiastically describes the book along with some fascinating tidbits to whet the reviewer’s curiosity. In the ten months I was at Prentice-Hall, I learned to take the galley proofs of a full-length, non-fiction book, know what was in it and have a finished two-page press release written, all in the space of two hours. The release is the “it” copy that describes the many features of “it”—the book—as opposed to the benefits to you. The highest compliment I could receive was when a book critic signed my release and called it his review. This happened more than once.
The top of a press release must have the following information:
Phone Number - URL - Sender’s E-mail
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sender’s Name
Press release copy here
(4) The review slip that formally states the title, author, publisher, price, publication date and description of the book—trim size, binding, number of pages and ISBN (International Standard Book Number).
(5) The address label, which is the most important element of all. Because a packet of materials sent to the wrong person is a colossal waste of money. In direct marketing, the late Ed Mayer’s formula for a successful promotion is: 40% lists, 40% offer, 20% everything else.
In the world of PR, the ratio is more like 60% lists and 40% everything else, no matter what the product or service being touted.